Online shopping fail

The other day, I decided to get some supplies from an online Japanese supermarket.

I was wanting to buy some purple sweet potato Kit Kats. You see, I’d been craving purple yam desserts for years because England doesn’t believe in yam, and I thought this Kit Kat could be close enough to do the job.

 

Purple Sweet Potato Kit Kat

 

So, I ordered two of those, alongside £75 worth of Japanese groceries to qualify for free shipping.

I also found my favourite peanuts in the world (Kasugai cuttlefish peanuts) in the same shop so I was over the moon.

But never mind that. Here are my Kit Kats:

 

Very tiny mini Kit Kats!

 

WOAH. Could they get any bigger??

I guess I should have known better. The product does say “Mini”. And I had actually bought green tea Kit Kat Minis about five years ago.

Still, that was five years ago. I have a bad memory and all the Kit Kats I’ve eaten since have been normal people-sized ones.

Also, the price of the mini Kit Kat is more than 10 times the price of a normal Kit Kat. So you could perhaps excuse my mind for thinking I would get something a tad bigger.

Anyway, caveat emptor and all that. I’m not really complaining, just terrified that Piers will scold me now that he knows what those Kit Kats cost. :O

They were very tasty but did not satisfy my yam craving because they are kind of different.

Then, there was the matcha.

 

Marukyu Koyamaen Wako Premium Stone Ground Matcha Green Tea Powder

 

I’d never bought matcha before so I chose this one based on the fact that the packaging is very pretty and it’s the most expensive one in the shop.

(I was worried the cheaper ones would taste gross.)

(And I really do like the packaging.)

Well, here’s my pretty matcha.

 

Very expensive, almost invisible, matcha

 

:O :O :O

I had expected it to be maybe three or four times bigger??

Yes, the weight is listed on the product page but who can tell off the top of their heads how much physical space 20 grams of powder takes up?

More importantly, I tend to ignore measurements when online shopping. Who has time to scrutinise everything?

Okay, I just did a Google search and my matcha doesn’t seem very expensive anymore. From what I can tell, matcha prices range from £1 to £20 per 10 grams.

But it was still rather shocking.

Anyway, one more item.

The great Daikon radish, otherwise known as mooli in England. It’s so very tasty in stews and soups because it soaks up all the wonderful flavour and explodes-melts in your mouth (but you have to cook it long enough).

 

Daikon radish aka mooli

 

Now, I’ve never bought one in Singapore (I didn’t cook back then) and UK supermarkets generally don’t stock it. So my only experience with it has been eating the final product all diced up and cooked.

I had accidentally found it for sale in Ocado last year, but only managed to buy two before it was gone from the virtual shelves. I’m not sure if it’s because no one buys it or because it went out of season.

After it disappeared, I would check every so often while doing my weekly grocery shop, but it never came back.

(Hey, I just now did a quick check and it’s back! Ocado has mooli again! They actually just stocked it because the last time I checked was a week ago.)

So, anyway, I bought this Japanese mooli even though it cost £4.99. I thought it was really expensive, expecting it to be the size of the one from Ocado (about twice the size of an average carrot), which had cost £0.70.

I bought it anyway, visions of exquisite braised beef with Daikon radish soaking in savoury sauce filling my head.

And, of course, the Daikon radish turned out to be gigantic.

 

Daikon radish vs regular carrot

 

I photographed it with an average-sized carrot to offer some scale.

You might think the size of it is a good thing but at the very moment I was fishing it out of the delivery box, I was thinking, “Oh, my God, what have I done?”

What in the world was I going to do with a giant vegetable? Much as I love it, I didn’t really want to be eating it every day for a week.

Yes, I should probably have been clued in by the weight listed on the product page. But again, who goes around knowing what a carrot weighs?

Anyway, we managed to finish it in three weeks. It kept surprisingly well in the fridge even with bits chopped off it, so that was a good ending.

Well, as you can tell from reading this post, I haven’t got time for anything most of the time, so gotta go, no time to waste! Until next time!

 

 

Diary of a DSLR – First entry

Diary of a (rich and famous) DSLR

Well, hello! This is all rather exciting, isn’t it?

Oh, but I am EXPLODING with anticipation and I simply must proclaim so or I shall BURST INTO FLAMES right here and now. A new adventure is on the horizon! I cannot wait for it to happen, I CANNOT!!!

No, no. I must refrain from hysterics. I am a dignified being, surely.

Let’s try again.

My story began in a large chamber where I slept alongside thousands of my kind for… oh, I cannot remember, far too long.

Admittedly, there isn’t much of a story to tell. Whilst all the empty-headed plebs chattered amongst themselves, I slept and dreamt of the day a genius photographer would rescue me from warehouse purgatory to begin the fulfillment of my destiny.

 

Nikon D750 + Genius photographer = Fame and fortune

 

The day has come!

I’ve always known that I was special. For what reason would I have been created but to become the DSLR that takes million-pound photographs? Yes! I will be rich and famous, the camera of the century, admired and praised around the world MWA HA HA.

Ahem. Excuse me.

I must confess, though, that I am plagued by the tiniest sliver of doubt. My new owner looks rather flighty and I wonder if she knows the first thing about photography. Has there been a mistake in assignation? Surely, my owner should be someone who looks more, I don’t know, distinguished and important?

This supposed owner is called Sheylara and I have observed that her home is full of heart motifs. How could that bode anything but bad? Look at where she has placed my battery charger: Atop a dainty and miniature cupboard FULL OF HEARTS, what?

 

The little cupboard with the hearts

 

?????

Oh, I KNOW something is definitely not right with this girl.

I mean, it’s not just the cupboard! It’s literally EVERYWHERE! Are you ready for this? Even her dinnerware has hearts!

 

Dinnerware with hearts

 

!!!!!

What is that I CAN’T EVEN!!!

(Okay, calm down. Dignity.)

(Breathe.)

It is possible that I am mistaken about her. We shall have to see. They say that geniuses are quirky. Perhaps she is merely one of those eccentric things who have trouble conforming. She may yet turn out to be The One.

Or… OR! It could even be that she is the idiot daughter of the real genius photographer, and has misappropriated her father’s possession out of impertinence.

Ah, yes, that must be it. Hope blossoms.

I shall report again when I know more. Wish me luck!

Cartoon Nikon D750

 

 

Death of the New Year’s resolution

I bet you all think I’ve gone and disappeared again! But I’m still here, and I really mean to not disappear again!

For at least a month!

That’s one of my New Year’s resolutions. And I’m rather impressed with myself for having one of those, seeing as I’ve been Cynical Cynthia (not having believed in resolutions) for the last, I don’t know, hundred years.

And why not?

Because I think New Year’s resolutions are an escape hatch.

Say you get tired of doing something, like yoga and eating rabbit food. So you tell yourself, oh never mind, the NEW YEAR is coming up; I will resolve to get back into yoga and rabbit food then, promise! (Never mind it’s only April.)

I didn’t want to be part of all that procrastination and denial. (Like I don’t already have enough of that in my life, haha.) Really, I thought, it’s do or do not. There is no faffing about waiting for the right time.

 

Do or do not?
Your subconscious knows best.

 

But some time last month, while not doing yoga, I had an epiphany. (Which goes to show you don’t need to be a yogi nor feed on cotton balls to have epiphanies.)

My epiphany was that not believing in NYRs was doing duck all for my goals.

People have a tendency to set their goals aside and, I don’t know, play a video game, instead.

It’s so easy to get sidetracked, lose focus, fall by the wayside, eat a whole pint of chocolate ice cream in one sitting.

 

Eating chocolate ice cream
Hey, let’s get some cookie dough ice cream next.

 

(If you’re one of those wack jobs who have earned a PhD, scaled Mount Everest twice, mastered five languages, invented a working time machine and published a hundred books by the time you’re 20 years old, go away. Just go away.)

I see now that NYRs, at least, remind us to refocus and get those bucket lists ticked off. It doesn’t matter if you keep getting sidetracked and have to keep renewing the same resolution every year. At least there’s a chance of succeeding one day.

(ADHD type people like me probably need a whole new strategy altogether, but I’m going to leave that problem for another time.)

By boycotting NYRs, I was basically allowing myself to be sidetracked for longer periods of time. I would enjoy the constant companionship of ennui while thinking, “I don’t need a new year to start doing that thing, I can just do it whenever, duh!”

But “whenever” comes rather infrequently, you’ll find.

 

Whenever - AKA why you never get anything done.
Whenever never comes.

 

Now, instead of thinking of NYRs as some dork invention, I’ve decided to think of them as a kind of parental discipline.

When you get to a certain age, you realise that parents are always right (the non-psycho ones, anyway). When they say DO YOUR HOMEWORK NOW, it is backed by all the wisdom of 14 billion years worth of universe. Meaning, disobey me and you will become a tramp, see if I care. (Actually, I do care, so go do your homework.)

Come 2016, I was determined to obey my figurative parents. My first resolution on the list was to be an early riser.

I’ve struggled my entire life to wake up early but have never quite succeeded. I have tried, honestly, about 3,482 times, despite being genetically predisposed to be an owl.

About 4 am to 12 pm would be my ideal sleeping time. But I want to be more in sync with the rest of the world (that is, pertaining to my familial and social circles).

 

Sync in progress. Do not disconnect.
Another way of saying behave like a normal human being, you crazy person.

 

So, on the first Monday of 2016, I made myself wake up at 7 am. I spent the whole day in a zombiefied state doing useful tasks I’d put off for years, such as opening mail that’s been sitting around since 2013 and filing them away neatly. It was a very successful day.

But my triumph wasn’t to last long. At 9 pm, my throat suddenly became quite sore.

At 10 pm, I started sneezing uncontrollably.

The next morning, I woke up with a bad cold and promptly went back to sleep. And that was the end of that resolution, may it rest in peace.

Well, there’s always next year.

 

 

Hair’s my latest look

I’m back!! Hardly a surprising event for those of you used to my appearing and disappearing over the years, coming and going as I please, as if my blog were a hotel, lol. Some people are just that rude!

But I do have a surprise. Well, just a tiny one. Which you probably already noticed way before you read these words, because of this photo right here.

 

Sheylara with short hair
Aaaaaah! What have you done! I imagine some of you saying.

 

I cut my hair! In fact, this photo was taken four months and a bit ago, on the day I cut my hair short. But this is the first time I’ve put my photo online since then (because I just haven’t felt like it).

Well, not that a hair cut is a big deal or anything. But it’s something to blog about if you don’t do anything else in your life except play games and read books all day long. (Which I don’t. Honest.)

I got tired of hair on the carpet and hair in the shower plughole. If you have super long hair, cream coloured carpet will look positively frightening only three or four days after you’ve hoovered the whole place and told yourself you don’t ever want to touch the hoover again for the rest of your life, but you have to because hair.

In fact, I wanted to cut it even shorter but Piers wouldn’t let me, so this was kind of a compromise.

 

Cutting your hair short comic
Cutting your hair could be a good or bad thing. Who knows?

 

It took me only three or four days to realise that nothing changed from that hair cut. My head still rained hair on the carpets and plugholes, and I still have to break out the hoover more often than I would like.

So, that was all a big waste of energy. Plus the short hair ends tickle my neck.

Still, a change every so often is probably good. Not that my hair can ever change much, being literally the most stubborn hair on the planet. All it ever wants to do is be straight and limp. And stylists who have to get me ready for a shoot hate my hair. That ought to tell you something.

Well, like I said, it’s been four months and a bit, so it’s longer now, straighter and limper than ever.

 

Slightly longer short hair
This is slightly longer short hair still trying to poke everywhere and tickle my neck

 

Okay, I don’t really know why this post became a whole post about my stupid hair. I only meant to say I’m back blogging (do I miss it ever so much) and here’s my new short hair and happy new year, you know?

So, like, I have A ZILLION THINGS to blog about, having not blogged for so long, you would think, and the first thing I do is whine about my hair. Right?

Next you know I’ll be blogging about handbags.

Women, tsk.

 

Hobbies to drive your spouse crazy

There must be nothing more annoying than a friend or family member learning a new language (except maybe a friend or family member learning piano or violin or the trombone). These linguist-wannabes would go around all day saying asinine things like “I am eating an apple” (in whatever language) even if it’s blindingly obvious that they are not, in fact, eating anything at all.

They would tell you in earnest: “The cat is black and the orange is orange,” and you would wonder about ringing up their therapist.

And maybe you should because goodness knows everyone needs a therapist these days.

 

Comic - Learning a new language

 

I should know because, right now, I am spouting truisms such as “el vino y la manzana son rojos” on a daily basis. (For the Spanish-challenged, this means “the wine and the apple are red”.) I am diligent in practising my sentences because I’m sure they will come in handy when I next visit Spain.

“El vino y la manzana son rojos,” I will say to the nice lady ringing up my shopping at the supermarket while I point at the apple and the delectable bottle of Spanish wine in my basket.

And she will clap her hands in glee and give me a discount because I just said something very useful to her.

 

Comic - Learning a new language 2

 

All I need to do is make sure that I preserve my sanity long enough to even make the trip to Spain. One does tend to feel a bit crazy after one has kindly informed one’s family for the umpteenth time the colours of various objects in the household and the ways in which one can interact with said objects, only to be met with a blank stare.

For example, I would tell Piers, in Spanish, “The newspaper is black and white. I read the newspaper,” and he would give me either a blank stare or, more often, a “Shall I ring your therapist?” stare, slightly quizzical, slightly worried, but mostly what the fuck.

Perhaps it’s his sanity I should be worried about.

 

Comic - Learning a new language 3

 

Now, remember in the beginning I mentioned that someone learning a musical instrument would probably be more annoying than someone telling you dumb things in Spanish all day long?

Well, guess what, I’m buying a piano, too!

Or, rather, Piers has just agreed to buy me a piano!

Ooh. I just realised that he probably isn’t yet aware of the double whammy situation he’s gotten himself into.

Double insanity!

Well, I am not exactly a totally virgin beginner pianist. I took piano lessons when I was 11 for a year or two and passed a few exams. However it HAS been a while, so I’m anticipating long months of banging out Yankee Doodle or whatever stupid songs they make you learn in piano these days.

I should probably put a therapist on our speed dial.

On the health front, I’ve decided to give yoga another try. (Went to a class a long time ago and hated it because it was so boring.) But I need to like it because of, well, health reasons, lol, so I’m going to try it at home first (using yoga apps on the iPad) and see how that works out before going to actual classes.

Perhaps Piers will be so distracted (and distraught) by the crazy poses that he won’t notice the other hobbies!

 

Comic - Yoga

 

There’s a plan, huh?

Probably not a very good one but we all gotta do what we all gotta do and spouses gotta put up with it. :D

Will keep you posted on outcomes!